Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Internet Unrest

PHOTO by Emrah Guler / Hurriyet Daily News

Multiple progressive Turkish websites are being attacked just three days following large-scale protests of the Turkish government's plan to pass broadly restrictive measure on Internet use. From RSF:
Several websites that backed anti-censorship demonstrations held on 15 May have been intermittently inaccessible since then because of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. The targets include the site of the left-wing daily Birgün, the news site and the media freedom website Bianet.

“We are going to carry on publishing under alternative addresses in case we should become the subject of similar attacks in the future,” Bianet announced today after being inaccessible for eight hours yesterday. “If this should occur, the alternative address will be published on Twitter and via other channels.”
For the announcement from Bianet, click here.

In other Internet freedom-related news, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has asked the Turkish government to reconsider its plan to institute new regulations on the Internet, which are currently scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 22. The OSCE has also offered its assistance in helping Turkey draft an internet law that will respect freedom of expression. The Turksih government is also taking heat from the European Commission.
In a letter to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE’s, representative on media freedom expressed concern about the Turkish government’s plans to introduce mandatory content filtering for all Internet users.

“This regulation would limit the right of individuals to access information they want and impose regulation of Internet content by the authorities,” OSCE representative Dunja Mijatovic wrote, adding that Internet users must have the freedom to make independent decisions about the use of content filters.

“If enforced, this regulation would contravene OSCE and international standards on free flow of information.” Mijatovic added.

Turkey also received international criticism from the European Commission, with a spokeswoman for Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule telling reporters Tuesday that the body is closely following developments regarding the filtering of online access in Turkey and other restrictions on the Internet.

She also expressed the European Commission’s uneasiness about Turkey’s blocking access to Internet sites frequently and disproportionately in terms of content and time, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The CHP is also taking advantage of the opportunity to challenge the government issue, utilizing its youth branches to capture support for the party before the upcoming elections on June 12.

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